Well, pointless post here. But I just have to say– I love this horse! I just had 5 hours of work-related meetings and then came out to the barn. I was exhausted, but Eragon makes all efforts to come ride 100% worth it. He is such a great partner–willing, smart, composed, professional, fun, sweet…I could go on and on.
We’ve been together a year now and I am just so happy. I honestly never thought I would enjoy working with a horse as much as I loved working with Fancy. And while I still miss Fancy every day, and will miss him until the day I die, I am so glad to have found a partner in Eragon.
What’s interesting is that Eragon shares a lot of positive qualities with Fancy. He’s smart. He’s confident. He will take direction from his rider, but he is also okay with making his own decisions. He’s brave. He’s self-possessed. He’s balanced and knows where he is in space. In short, he gives the rider a great feel. One thing I miss about Fancy and thought I’d never find again is that sense of identity that he had. When you worked around Fancy, you really felt his “horsehood,” that is, his identity and force of personality. That’s what made him such a thrilling partner–he had such a strong identity and such inward confidence. While this made him difficult at times, it was ultimately a great strength, since he was able to take over and make smart decisions (particularly on the jump course) if I got nervous or made a rider error. We were true collaborators–you could not boss Fancy into doing anything. You could convince and finesse him, but never control him.
While Eragon is more “zen” than Fancy, he has a strong identity, too. You really get the sense that you are working with a distinct personality and consciousness when you work with Eragon. He is always willing to listen to me, but he also has his own clear contributions to the dialogue. It is a comfort to work with an animal who has such an obvious sense of self. I really feel like lightening has struck twice for me. I owned the most beautiful, generous, funny, and lovely horse for 15 years. That was an amazing bit a of fortune and would have been enough for one lifetime. But, amazingly, I now have another special horse. I feel so lucky.
But damn, I still miss Fancy. Everyday. I think I’ll use the next few blog posts here to talk about what I learned from that amazing animal. I owe so much of who am I as a person and rider to that horse.